Archive: Exhibition Veronika Hauer, Katie Lee


In Subliminal, this year’s cooperative exhibition organized by the GALERIE IG BILDENDE KUNST and AIR – ARTIST IN RESIDENCE Lower Austria, Katie Lee and Veronika Hauer’s artistic positions form a field of interlinking themes and aesthetic overlaps. Both artists work in the area of conflicting priorities between image, spatial installation, and physical performance. Both Lee and Hauer develop visual and spatial scenarios that not only thematize the body but also subtly summon it to action. Veronika Hauer investigates the body as a medium of mimetic poses; with Katie Lee the body functions essentially as a center of kinesthetic perception.

Austrian artist Veronika Hauer presents a series of posters that ironically and critically address the teaching of language as well as the link between language and body. Here the series can be read, as it were, as subliminal guidelines for viewers, so that the individual poster represents a performative challenge. Hauer makes use of historical educational imagery since the absurdity of many pedagogical approaches often only become apparent with the distance of time. A sense of unease also contrasts the hint of entertainment, however, given that the drawings of the individual letters formed by children depict regimentation and discipline in a double sense. In addition to the absurdity of reenacting and physically embodying letters, the rigidity of the copperplate engraving reveals the forced nature of this educational enterprise on a second level.

Australian artist Katie Lee explores the performative potential of sculptural forms. Lee sees space not as a static structure, but as a dynamic, mutable system. In installations and performative dispositifs, the artist questions and investigates structures for disciplining and at times also “securing” the body. In Subliminal, for example, a frame resembling orphaned gymnastics equipment functions not as an independent sculptural form but rather as a subtle challenge/invitation to the body. The isolation of the objects and constellations—which seem post-minimal at first glance—and the surrounding empty space have an evocative effect on how space is imagined and in fact negotiated. The artist does not attempt to influence the ways in which her installations are perceived with dramaturgical intentionality, but to preserve in a subtle way, through their configuration, a random or unscripted aspect.

Veronika Hauer and Katie Lee investigate forms that influence kinaesthetic actions and subliminally choreograph the body. Hauer’s absurdist historical representations and Lee’s object structures trigger a latent sense of unease in the viewer. Not infrequently they arouse memories, even physical responses to one’s own experiences of body conditioning, and thus of the mental apparatus familiar to us from school, the sports field, and public space.

RMIT University School of Art's SITUATE program and AIR – ARTIST IN RESIDENCE Niederösterreich conduct an annual exchange residency between Australia and Austria. AIR warmly welcomes Katie Lee as the 2019 Australian artist of this exchance.

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